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United States Government Politics

C.I.A. to Let "Skeletons" Out of its Closet 235

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the taking-some-heat dept.
sgt_doom writes "The C.I.A. announced it was going to reveal "skeletons" by declassifying hundreds of pages of documents detailing illegal abuses over the years. As a preamble, the National Security Archive at George Washington University released a separate set of documents covering internal government deliberations of the abuses from January 1975. Mandatory reading for all those history-challenged individuals who believe government knows best!"
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C.I.A. to Let "Skeletons" Out of its Closet

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  • dream on (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 23, 2007 @10:56AM (#19619807)
    Anyone who thinks government knows best probably can't/won't read anyway.
    • Re:dream on (Score:4, Funny)

      by tinrobot (314936) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @12:26PM (#19620479)
      ...but, government funded schools TAUGHT me to read.
    • by AJWM (19027)
      It boggles the mind that anyone thinks that a body made up of the equivalent of pointy-haired bosses would know best.

      How does it go? "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach. Those who can't teach, enter politics." Something like that...

      (And while there might, in some cases, be some bright people in gov't service who advise those politicians, when was the last time you knew a PHB to follow advice, especially advice he didn't understand?)
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by fyngyrz (762201) *

        It boggles the mind that anyone thinks that a body made up of the equivalent of pointy-haired bosses would know best.

        Even that is a misconception. "Pointy haired bosses" have accountability; in the end, they must make a profit as a consequence of their choices or the company will fold, because in a commercial enterprise, funds result from sales of a product and/or service, and said sale is at the option of the consumer.

        The government suffers no loss of income, regardless of how poorly they perform.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          The government suffers no loss of income, regardless of how poorly they perform.

          Government (at least the people in it) do carry accountability, if they don't perform well, they can be voted out of office (at least in a working democracy, yes, you can argue that is a fiction but so is a free market with customers who have perfect information).

          On the other hand, with a private enterprise it's one dollar, one vote and sometimes not even that: A company (unless it's a public one) doesn't have to make a profit

  • I forgot (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tomstdenis (446163) <tomstdenis@REDHATgmail.com minus distro> on Saturday June 23, 2007 @10:56AM (#19619811) Homepage
    Which country is it without sin?

    Just saying...
    • Re:I forgot (Score:5, Funny)

      by McGiraf (196030) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @11:00AM (#19619851) Homepage
      Vatican? oh wait.....
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Dionysus (12737)

      Which country is it without sin?
      <sarcasme>Why that makes it all OK then<sarcasme> Especially a country who thinks of itself as the greatest in the world.
      USA! USA! Greatest democracy in the world (when compared to Cuba and Saudi Arabia), greatest living standards (when compared to Bangladesh), greatest freedom (when compared to China), largest (when compared to the Vatican)

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by superphreak (785821)
        If it's better somewhere else, feel free to move there. And I'm not automatically assuming that you are an American.
      • Re:I forgot (Score:5, Insightful)

        by tomstdenis (446163) <tomstdenis@REDHATgmail.com minus distro> on Saturday June 23, 2007 @02:29PM (#19621537) Homepage
        How the fuck did that get insightful? People live fairly well in the states. Yes, there poor, but so what? most people have roofs over their heads and food in their bellies. They're just not mansions and 7 course meals...While the states isn't perfect, I'd much rather live in the states than Cuba, Saudi Arabia, or China.

        And I'm Canadian ;-)

        From my experience, americans think highly of their country, but most fall short at saying "best place in the world." When I worked for AMD I routinely had to visit the states and had occasion to chat it up with my co-workers from California. They often remarked about the good times they had in Europe, Canada, etc. If you asked them if they liked living in the USA they would say yes, and speak positive about it. But don't confuse thinking positive with zealotry. Most educated folk in the USA have been all over the planet and aren't as dillusioned as /. trolls would have you think.

        Tom
    • by blindd0t (855876)

      Which country is it without sin?

      Does it matter? I'm already gathering up as many stones as I can, and I suggest you do the same!

      Kidding aside, how are we supposed to believe some information is selectively omitted? Also, how much is blatant disinformation? Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice... we all know how it goes. No government, person, or group of people in any position of power will ever have my trust, and I'll never simply believe their word.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by enrevanche (953125)
      And you point is?

      Are you an apologizer for atrocity?

      "Just saying"? State what it is your implying. Is it that because other countries do bad things that it doesn't matter what yours does?

      The only way things change is by pointing these things out and by being outraged when your country or your country's allies do these things.

    • Tibet? Formosa?

      Falcon
    • by dominion (3153)

      I'm always surprised by the juvenile insistance on using the foul play of others to justify our own unethical activities.

      If Columbia has death squads, does that mean the U.S. could have death squads? Because, hey, first stone and all that.
    • Re:I forgot (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CdBee (742846) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @01:17PM (#19620885)
      Obviously, none of them. It's just that a lot of us were greatly saddened when the nation whose armies liberated Buchenwald concentration camp, invented Guantanamo & Abu Ghraib. Perhaps there's a perception that some spring-cleaning was needed.
      • Re:I forgot (Score:4, Interesting)

        by good soldier svejk (571730) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @02:51PM (#19621737)

        Obviously, none of them. It's just that a lot of us were greatly saddened when the nation whose armies liberated Buchenwald concentration camp, invented Guantanamo & Abu Ghraib. Perhaps there's a perception that some spring-cleaning was needed.
        An ironic aspect of the liberation of Buchenwald and Dachau is that the Army continues to deny that some of the liberators were black GIs from the 761st Tank and 183rd Combat Engineer battalions. There is overwhelming eyewitness evidence to their actions, much of it from inmates who had never seen a black man before and were hardly likely to imagine such an event.
    • by timeOday (582209)

      Which country is it without sin?
      Regardless, it's good to know the history. That way when your President says, "I need unchecked authority and anybody with nothing to hide has nothing to fear," you will know how to answer.
  • by skoaldipper (752281) <skoalstr8@nosPaM.gmail.com> on Saturday June 23, 2007 @10:56AM (#19619813)
    What do disgruntled CIA skeletons eat at restaurants?

    Spare ribs!
  • by Heir Of The Mess (939658) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @10:56AM (#19619815) Homepage
    So we can find out the truth about who killed JFK with their magic bullets.
    • by Scrameustache (459504) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @11:49AM (#19620205) Homepage Journal

      So we can find out the truth about who killed JFK with their magic bullets.
      The JFK files are due to be released 70 years (the life expectancy) after the facts.
      That way no one who was old enough to remember what happened will be around to contradict the official version of events (nor to suffer the consequences of their actions).
      Sleep tight, your government is watching you sleep at night.
      • by 4D6963 (933028)

        The JFK files are due to be released 70 years (the life expectancy) after the facts.

        I think it has more to do with protecting people involved. Let's say a 22-year old person was involved, 70 years later he'll be 92, which means most likely dead.

        • by Scrameustache (459504) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @02:09PM (#19621357) Homepage Journal

          The JFK files are due to be released 70 years (the life expectancy) after the facts.

          I think it has more to do with protecting people involved. Let's say a 22-year old person was involved, 70 years later he'll be 92, which means most likely dead.

          That... was... exactly my point :-|
          • by turing_m (1030530)
            The way you phrased it made it sound as if they'd be releasing a bunch of fictitious information 70 years on, because no one is around to contradict them, and that was the main point, with the side effect being that it would protect any conspirators. Your main point doesn't really make sense as a reason, since most of the info put out after the fact with any sort of thing like this can be contradicted by people immediately after, and is often self-contradictory.

            "That way no one who was old enough to remembe
        • by Plunky (929104)

          I think it has more to do with protecting people involved. Let's say a 22-year old person was involved, 70 years later he'll be 92, which means most likely dead.

          But say that 22 yr old had a child, who turned out to be a pretty important guy who could be embarrassed about his fathers misdeeds.

          I'm finding it kind of interesting that the cut off date is 32 years and not 30 which is the number I've seen quoted as the usual interval that records are reviewed for release.. these CIA records are being releas

    • by 4D6963 (933028)

      So we can find out the truth about who killed JFK with their magic bullets.

      Let me bet a few bucks on Cubans. Castro survived hundreds of american assassination attempts which for a lot of them have been ordered directly by JFK and RFK. Makes sense that the guys who didn't manage to prevent the guy they miserably failed at killing and who succesfully killed the guy they were supposed to protect tried to hide that to avoid sounding incompetent. IIRC, Johnson agrees with me (or maybe it's the other way aroun

    • by harry666t (1062422) <harry666t&gmail,com> on Saturday June 23, 2007 @01:31PM (#19621007)
      That reminds me of Bill Hicks' quote:

      I have this feeling man, 'cause you know, it's just a handful of people who run everything, you know that's true, it's provable. It's not I'm not a fucking conspiracy nut, it's provable. A handful, a very small elite, run and own these corporations, which include the mainstream media. I have this feeling that whoever is elected president, like Clinton was, no matter what you promise on the campaign trail blah, blah, blah when you win, you go into this smoke-filled room with the twelve industrialist capitalist scum-fucks who got you in there. And you're in this smoky room, and this little film screen comes down and a big guy with a cigar goes, "Roll the film." And it's a shot of the Kennedy assassination from an angle you've never seen before that looks suspiciously like it's from the grassy knoll. And then the screen goes up and the lights come up, and they go to the new president, "Any questions?" "Er, just what my agenda is." "First we bomb Baghdad." "You got it "
  • It's rumoured the daffodils grow sideways in Odessa at this time of year.
    • by iluvcapra (782887)
      GOOD MORNING SUNSHINE 01123 10021 57204 12810 92292 84613 01281 71920 88172 77182 77128 72182 81100 82127 72168 89121 DIT DIT DAH
  • by coren2000 (788204) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @11:04AM (#19619887) Journal
    I wonder if we learn who shot Sheriff John Brown's Deputy.
    • by dgatwood (11270)

      My money's on Bob Marley, though he vehemently denies it. In any case, in my mind, the real question is who framed Roger Rabbit.

  • uh... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by cosmocain (1060326)
    this idea is an output of a crisis-meeting:

    mr x: "hey, anoybody got a clue of how we can get those folks to forget our current abuses of law, like, err ...those search warrants and stuff.. ah, you all know. no need to heat it up." mr y: "we could just release old files. that will keep'em busy for some time. and we always can state: what's done, is done. we can't undo, but actually we are full of shame and guilt. forgive us, pleaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaase"

    • by russ1337 (938915)
      You raise a good point. In 30 years time here will be some extreme issue in the white house and they'll release all the data from the current administrations 'doings' as a distraction.

      At least then we'll get to see if the majority of Slashdotters were right....
  • CIA Just a Servant (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ChePibe (882378) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @11:12AM (#19619939)
    I realize that picking on the CIA for what they do is all good fun for many, but the CIA is ultimately a servant of its masters - most often the president, especially before the Church committee which resulted in much more congressional oversight. Not to say the CIA hasn't exceeded its own orders from time to time - it most certainly has, and once is too many times - but instead of saying, "ooh, look what the dirty CIA did!", it may be useful to look at why they did it and where the order came from. Presidents have often used it for their dirty work, particularly prior to 1975 or so when signed directives were not required, which allowed presidents to order the CIA to do their bidding without a paper trail and have plausible deniability otherwise.

    An interesting read on this and other espionage/covert action matters is James Olson's Fair Play [amazon.com]. After giving a brief overview of what espionage is like, he puts forward 50 or so "hypothetical" situations and collects ethical and other opinions from a wide variety of people. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to look at common ethical questions the intelligence community faces and common pro and con arguments against them, as well as practical looks at how the intelligence gathering is done.
    • by ThiagoHP (910442) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @11:33AM (#19620073)

      Take a look at this article in Wikipedia about the School of the Americas [wikipedia.org], an USA army institue that for decades taught torture, fear, bounties for enemy dead, false imprisonment, torture, execution, and kidnapping a target's family members to Latin America dictatorships in the 60's, 70's and 80's.

      An excerpt:

      The school has a controversial history of teaching the techniques of torture, and according to UN commissions, many of its graduates have been linked to the most egregious human rights crimes perpetrated in the western hemisphere, who were trained at the school at U.S. taxpayer expense.

      It's not hard to figure out why some many people in Latin America hate the USA and its hipocrisy of allegedly spreading democracy while supporting dictatorships.

      • by ChePibe (882378)
        It's a great recipe for Chicken Pasta BLT salad [recipesource.com].

        I mean, while we're making non sequitur comments that have nothing to do with the parent post we may as well do something tasty, right?

        (Oh, and don't use the Chili sauce - the bbq sauce is much better)
        • by saforrest (184929)
          While I do think the grandparent was obviously contriving an excuse to mention the School of the Americas, it's not so crazy a link as you seem to think. A lot of South American dictators went to the School of the Americas, graduated to become their country's local American stooges, and seized/held power with the help of the CIA. Noriega is a good example.
        • It's making me hungry.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Xenna (37238)
        That's not the real reason, mate. The real reason people hate the US is that they're rich ansd powerful. Hypocrital and criminal regimes are a dime a dozen (mostly much more hypocritical and criminal) but you can't get more powerful than the US, and that hurts.

        X. (not American)
    • the CIA is ultimately a servant of its masters - most often the president
      Remind again, what did Bush the First do around 1976, 1977... before he became their 'master', as you put it?
      • What on earth that has to do with the comment above?
        • What on earth that has to do with the comment above?

          If the CIA's master is the president, and heads of the CIA become presidents... There is no line between the master and the servant.

          Who decided to invade Iraq in 2003? The Bush administration, or the intelligence community? Bush says he was only acting on the intelligence supplied to him, his critics say he put pressure on intelligence agencies to serve him the selective data he wanted.
          What makes you think they didn't shake hands on it, and agreed to give each other what they both wanted?

    • by Kidbro (80868)

      I realize that picking on the CIA for what they do is all good fun for many, but the CIA is ultimately a servant of its masters - most often the president

      Yes. "I was only following orders" has been known to be a valid excuse for criminal and immoral acts.

      Does your chief of state actually have the authority to order people to break the law?

    • by fm6 (162816)
      Nonsense. The CIA has never been a just a "tool." They've had a remarkable ability to control events. During the cold war, the CIA was where the anti-commie zealots went to work. And these guys never were content to let their superiors set the agenda.

      No government agency consists of people who "just follow orders". If nothing else, they need to come up with ways to justify their paychecks and grow their power base. And of course, civil servants often seriously believe in what they're doing -- somet
  • by MrSteveSD (801820) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @11:15AM (#19619963)
    I think the idea is to say, "Oh we were bad back then up until 1975, but since then we've been really nice.". Sadly that isn't true at all. Maybe in 30 years they will be explaining how they were bad up until 2007 with involvement with the murderous contras in the 80s and secret prisons and torture in the "War on Terror" in the 2000s etc.
    • by dbIII (701233)
      How about the involvement in Algeria today? You really don't have to look far to see how low they can go to help out an ally. When these guys come home what sort of things are they going to do on US soil?
  • Motivation? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by spiritraveller (641174) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @11:16AM (#19619967)
    Are they changing their tune or are they just trying to show us what they are capable of so that we won't get out of line?

    Hmmmmmmmm.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Elsapotk421 (1097205)
      I'd say that it's mainly just because the information no longer proves useful for enemies of the government. Most classified documents are not like this completely crucial and ultimately secret documents. What's special about them is the way they place information together. Which is ultimately where the intelligence part comes in. It's not what you got, it's how you use it. But like someone said earlier....it's not that it never happens, it's just not usually announced.
  • by gfilion (80497) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @11:17AM (#19619983) Homepage
    The actual reason for letting these old skeletons out of the closet is that they need to make place for the new ones!

    Ba da bing! Thanks a lot! I'll be here all week! Try the fish!
  • Mandatory reading for all those history-challenged individuals who believe government knows best!"

    Unfortunately many of those individuals are steadfast in their conviction that no Fact should be allowed to interfere with their Beliefs.

    Especially during our War With Terror(TM).

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by damian cosmas (853143)
      "Mandatory reading for all those history-challenged individuals who believe government knows best!"

      I'm not gonna say the "government knows best", since they have a remarkable tendency to fuck up pretty much everything they get involved in, both foreign and domestic. I am, however, all for "illegal" covert action by the CIA if it's in our National Interest (e.g. secret prisons in East Europe), and have been since well before the "war on terror" started. I'm a child of the Cold War.

      The Geneva Conventions we
  • Up to what year are they going to release documents? Surely they aren't current to release information about recent or ongoing 'skeletons'.
  • History Challenged? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ralph Spoilsport (673134) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @11:41AM (#19620141) Journal
    Mandatory reading for all those history-challenged individuals who believe government knows best!

    As compared to whom? The history challenged individuals who think corporations know best?

    Like Shell Oil? [oxfordjournals.org]

    Or Texaco? [american.edu]

    Or Enron? [wikipedia.org]

    Or These 14 rapacious monsters (Caterpillar, Chevron, CocaCola, Dow, Dyncorp, Ford, KBR-Halliburton, Lockheed, Monsanto, Nestle, Phillip Morris, Pfizer, SLDE, Walmart [karim.gnn.tv] all of whom have disgusting track records of either exploitation, environmental destruction, corruption, or some combination thereof?

    Government is the only remaining bullwark between the thugs who run industry and the people they use up as labour resource and then destroy as a product. It is the only safeguard the environment has: if governments do not constrain industry, then industry will always look at the quarterly report and continue to crap all over the planet. And given how collusive government is with industry, it is NOT a pretty or welcoming picture - as government has, for the past several thousand years, proven itself to be little more than the means of protecting and projecting the interests of the ruling classes. The struggle is real, not imagined. And it is only through a re-imagined and re-energised public sector will our species have any hope of surviving the coming crises in Energy, Environment, and Population reduction.

    It is the poster who is historically challenged and politically ignorant.

    RS

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 23, 2007 @11:49AM (#19620209)
      This article is about releasing the secret mis-deeds of the CIA.

      In general, do you think the mis-deeds of the CIA will involved illegal spying on bad corporations to protect the US Public, or will they involve illegal spying to protect the big corporations ?

      Stop and think, buddy.
    • by hab136 (30884) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @12:21PM (#19620435) Journal

      Mandatory reading for all those history-challenged individuals who believe government knows best!
      As compared to whom? The history challenged individuals who think corporations know best?

      Why do people reduce everything to A versus B? ("false dichotomy") It's not "govt or corps, choose one" - how about they both have good and bad qualities, and we need to reign in BOTH of them so that we can enjoy their good qualities while not suffering their ill effects?

      Corporations allow for pooling of capital to achieve great efficiencies and new products. Abusive corporations can squeeze out competitors, raise prices, and prevent new products from challenging their dominance.

      Government allows for a fair system of law and order. Abuse of governmental authority allow for repression and deprivation of life and liberty.

      Thinking the either govt or business (or even the people) always know best is silly. All three are both right and wrong quite often.
      • by Scrameustache (459504) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @12:30PM (#19620511) Homepage Journal

        Corporations allow for pooling of capital to achieve great efficiencies and new products. Abusive corporations can squeeze out competitors, raise prices, and prevent new products from challenging their dominance.
        And kill hundreds of thousands of people in one go.
        Read GP's link, the DOW section provides a perfect example of how much worse corps are than you think.

        Aside from that, your point about false dichotomies is spot on. Keep enlightening people.
    • These 14 rapacious monsters (Caterpillar, Chevron, CocaCola, Dow, Dyncorp, Ford, KBR-Halliburton, Lockheed, Monsanto, Nestle, Phillip Morris, Pfizer, SLDE, Walmart [karim.gnn.tv] all of whom have disgusting track records of either exploitation, environmental destruction, corruption, or some combination thereof?
      Government is the only remaining bullwark between the thugs who run industry and the people they use up as labour resource and then destroy as a product.

      Yeah... because no one involved in the highest decision making layers of these corporations ever got elected?

    • As compared to whom? The history challenged individuals who think corporations know best?

      That is a false dichotomy. Government and industry should both have oversight.
    • corporate misdeeds (Score:3, Informative)

      by falconwolf (725481)

      Government is the only remaining bullwark between the thugs who run industry and the people they use up as labour resource and then destroy as a product.

      Ah but it's govrnemtn that lets these corporations get away with all this. Especially under Bush who installed industry insiders as the head of government watch agencies. His admin is even trying to gut or remove from the law books [citymaker.com] the Alien Tort Claims Act [wikipedia.org]. This law, from 1789, is a method by which foreign nationals can hold US corporations responsi

    • by jagapen (11417)

      Government is the only remaining bullwark between the thugs who run industry and the people they use up as labour resource and then destroy as a product.

      I disagree. You see, the Corporation is the off-spring of the State [wikipedia.org]. The State creates a Corporation by grant of a charter, and by its laws, shapes the character of the Corporation. The laws we have in America directly create the amoral monster corporations because the laws shield the people that make up a corporation from individual liability for its act

  • trying to come clean is commendable.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Emetophobe (878584)
      Or it could just be another limited hangout [wikipedia.org]

      A "limited hangout" is a form of deception, misdirection, or coverup often associated with intelligence agencies involving a release or "mea culpa" type of confession of only part of a set of previously hidden sensitive information, that establishes credibility for the one releasing the information who by the very act of confession appears to be "coming clean" and acting with integrity; but in actuality by withholding key facts is protecting a deeper crime and tho

  • Anybody who ever read an official document will know that a typical official 200 page document may have one paragraph of tangential information. The rest is sign-off pages, configuration management, tables of contents, referenced documents and indexes...
  • Perhaps it's a limited hangout [wikipedia.org] -- reveal some skeletons, bury other skeletons deeper.

    -kgj
  • by Fantastic Lad (198284) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @12:53PM (#19620701)
    Geez. Everybody knows the CIA has been up to no good. I don't know what a bunch of mild reading is good for. Do they get into their mind control experiments? Or their involvement in the JFK and MLK assassinations? Or any of the really dark stuff? No? Whatever. I don't know what's up with this, but stuff that happened 30 years ago isn't. Plus, they're just the CIA. What about the heads of state? Here's a snippet from an article detailing what's going on right now in full public view. . .

    Sure, you've heard of the Patriot Act, and you know about the NSA warrantless surveillance controversy. Many Americans are cynical about the human rights record of the Bush administration. But, what do you know about these directives and acts Bush signed into law in the past few months -- The John Warner Defense Appropriation Act, The Military Commissions Act, The National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directives? These acts and directives give dictatorial powers to the President of the United States, and leave open the question -- are these guys planning to leave office?

    [. . .]

    Good-bye Habeas

    The United States Military Commissions Act of 2006, (Senate Bill 3930[1]) signed on October 17, 2006, set out to "facilitate bringing to justice terrorists and other unlawful enemy combatants through full and fair trials by military commissions." The Act creates the category of "unlawful enemy combatants," who lack the right of habeas corpus, and traditional protections from torture under the Geneva Conventions. Furthermore, the Act avoids any clear language ensuring that U.S. citizens will not be classified as unlawful enemy combatants. This Act side-steps the traditional protections associated with the judiciary branch. The determination of the status of an individual as an "unlawful enemy combatant" is made by tribunals established under the authority of the President.

    Good-bye Posse Comitatus

    The John Warner Defense Appropriation Act for Fiscal Year 2007 (H.R. 5122.ENR), signed on the same day, allows the President to "...employ the armed forces, including the National Guard in Federal service, to... 1. restore public order and enforce the laws of the United States when... the President determines that,...domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authorities of the State or possession are incapable of maintaining public order; 2. suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy..."

    Good-bye Separation of Powers

    The National Security Presidential Directive (NSPD 51), and the Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD-20), signed on May 9, 2007, give special powers to the President in the event of a "Catastrophic Emergency," which means "any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions." In such situations, "The President shall lead the activities of the Federal Government for ensuring constitutional government."

    During the Bush presidency these totalitarian laws have arisen. At the same time there has emerged a rising cynicism among the people. There is a hope for a silver lining during oppressive presidencies that at least the people get to see how bad unchecked power abuses are. I once read that when Hitler came to power, the German communists were relieved that at least the people would get the opportunity to see how bad the Nazis were, and would therefore be more likely to vote communist in the next election. But there was no next election. [. . .]

    Article [narconews.com]

    It's easy to slip into a little nap and forget what's just around the corner. War with Iran, and either 'terrorist' attacks on U.S. soil, or a U.S. ecconomic collapse, (or both), which pr

    • Do they get into their mind control experiments?

      Actually....yes (althought very briefly). From the last paragraph on page 3 of http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB222/fami ly_jewels_wilderotter.pdf [gwu.edu] (I'm manually copying the paragraph here so please forgive any spelling mistakes).

      "Between 1963 and 1973, the CIA funded research in some institutions, apparently including academic institutions, on the general subject of behavioral modification. According to Colby, these activities included the participat

    • I wonder if it will come before Bush leaves office, or if some other shmuck will pick up where he left off. (Giuliani? Schwarzenegger? )

      I don't know who will replace Bush but it won't be the Govenator [google.com], Govenor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Without a Constitutional Amendment he can't be president of the USA. Personally, of those I've seen running I'm hoping to see Ron Paul [ronpaul2008.com] win.

      Falcon

  • Slow Learners (Score:4, Insightful)

    by vtcodger (957785) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @01:02PM (#19620775)
    The CIA et al (There are about two dozen intelligence agencies) really are involved in two quite different jobs. The jobs overlap, but they are different.

    The first job is to try to determine what is going on in foreign countries. Where is Osama bin Laden? (Who the hell knows) Is Iran trying to build a nuclear bomb? (probably) How many ICBMs does China have (not a lot), etc. This is where most of the money goes because it involves a lot of expensive technology.-- satellite photos, communications intercepts, etc. It's hard to object to this except for the issue of at what point the sum cost of getting data exceeds the value of the data. And keep in mind that the value of the data includes the costs of acting on bad data or data that should probably have been available -- about $400 billion so far for the Iraq fiasco alone.

    There is also a covert action component -- the James Bond stuff. This seems to be overwhelmingly attractive to certain overgrown adolescents. The problem is that covert action frequently misfires. On good days, the misfire is harmless. Castro doen't smoke the booby trapped cigar. Sometimes it comes back to haunt us. We overthrow a democratic government in Iran in the 1950s and -- suprise -- our chosen stooge, the Shaw gets pitched out in the 1970s and we find ourselves faced with a theocracy that doesn't much like us.

    These papers seem to deal with the covert stuff and to chronicle what went wrong and (I assume) what went right as well.

  • Da Truth! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Brandybuck (704397) on Saturday June 23, 2007 @01:48PM (#19621161) Homepage Journal
    Mandatory reading for all those history-challenged individuals who believe government knows best!

    Also mandatory reading for those conspiracists among you. While you do not believe that goverment knows best, you do believe that government has super-human powers of secrecy, competency and planning. Did the CIA assassinate Kennedy? Did they shoot Reagan to keep him in line? Was the moonshot faked? Was 9/11 and inside job?

    There will be lots of eyebrow-raising information in this collection, but none of it will help the conspiracists. They'll just claim more of the same coverup when they don't find their smoking gun.
  • I love how the guy who posted this story disappeared into the back of a black suburban with tinted windows.

    OH SHI--
  • The best book I ever read about the CIA is called "The Main enemy" which outlines the final years of spying between the Soviet Union and the CIA. One thing people don't know is that the CIA declassifies a LOT of stuff but does not tell you WHAT is was declassified. Thus you can't request for that which you don't know about.

    This book was written by a reporter and a former CIA employee who knew WHAT to request. Of course it was vetted but the things in it are VERY fascinating. From how much the Russians were

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